Tag Archives: womens health

Save the Ta-tas!

Hey there RYPEness!

How are you…and your ta-tas doing? Why am I asking about your ta-tas? Well…because I care, and you should too!!

We are doing our best to take care of our bodies by leading healthy lifestyles and eating right. All of us *wink wink* are ensuring that we are getting at least 30 minutes of exercise in daily and eating clean meals. Right? RIGHT! But are you making sure that your ta-tas are good too? Did you know that wearing a good sports bra that fits properly is just as important as making sure you are wearing the right running shoe, or that your bike is the correct size for you? Did you know that failing to wear a supportive and properly fitting sports bra during exercise can lead to permanent breast damage whether you’ve experienced pain or not, and even if your breasts are very small?

Yup.

Let’s think about running. When we go for a jog, as we run our legs are moving and our arms move back and forth. There is control to that movement since our legs and arms contain bone and muscle that we move at will. Howeva….’ya girls’ are made up of mostly fatty tissue and mammary glands. There is no muscle there that can be controlled. There are no bones that can provide a structure of sorts. So those mama-jamas are free to bounce around willy-nilly!

OUCH!

The primary support structure for the breasts are ligaments called Cooper’s Ligaments. These are connective tissues in the breast that help maintain structural integrity. Secondary support for the breasts comes from the skin. To understand the damage that can occur to these two elements if not properly supported, try this easy demonstration. Take a rubber band and cut it so its just one long strip, then measure it. Tie a weight to the end and begin swinging the rubber band around for a period of time. Measure the rubber band again. By golly it’s longer!

Now…apply that same concept to your love bumps. Not a pretty picture, right?

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Yeah, we gotta tie those breastisis down darling! Because once we stretch those ligaments and skin, there is no un-stretching. Your only option to reposition them off of your belly is surgery…that’s not cool. And don’t think that just because you happened to be not as well endowed as some of us larger boobed females that you are not prone to this same stretch and hang, because you are.

So prevention is key! It’s a must to find the right bra that stops the stretch. And to stop the stretch, we have to stop the movement. AND!!…just because you are wearing a bra that smashes your breast to the point of looking like a 12 year old boy does not necessarily mean that there will be no movement! When we are exercising there are three directions of breast movement:

  1. Up and down
  2. Side to side
  3. In and out

We gotta stop all that. There are two basic ways that sports bras reduce breast movement during exercise: compression and encapsulation. Most of us are used to the compression bras, which are good at reducing up and down movement, but not so good at side to side. Encapsulation bras mimic our daily bras in that they have cups that “encapsulate” the breast. Finding a bra that does a good job of compressing AND encapsulating the breast is our best bet. Also, we want to ensure that our bras are made from good wicking material, thus pulling moisture away from the skin, to prevent painful and ugly chaffing.

So…it’s time to take a trip to a good fitness apparel retailer, like say TrySports…shameless plug…and get properly fitted for a good bra. The Adidas Supernova Racer Bra has been highly reviewed as a great high impact bra. Moving Comfort does a great job with sports bra as well. This is a company that was started by two women runners, so they understand the needs of women and have a variety of options that will meet your needs. Try Juno, Maia or Fiona….their top sellers.

Ladies…let’s save our ta-tas!! Take the time to go get the RIGHT bra. Sorry…during your workouts is no time to be showing off the cleavage, save that stuff for the club. Tie those girls down, fully. There should be no breast tissue oozing out from any part of the bra, they should be wholly contained! Then…let’s go have some fun taking care of our bodies!

Swim, bike run…RYPE!

 

 

 

Strong Arm’n

Hey there RYPEness,

I am not sure where you might be when you are reading this, but not unless you live somewhere like California, or Hawaii, this winter has been the pits! Definitely not motivating me to be outside doing any sort of running or riding…and definitely not making me want to get in anybody’s pool! BLEH! So I wanted to give you a few things that you can do that will make you triathlon strong once the season rolls around. NOW….I am by no means saying that you can ix-nay your swimming, biking and running completely! We have to find a way to get in a few swim/bike/run workouts here and there, but we can replace some of them with much needed strength training. I did some research on upper body strength workouts for triathletes and found some really good ones.

Muscles are good….and sexy. 🙂  Its pretty self explanatory why having good upper body strength benefits us in swimming. I am sure we have all read how having good core strength helps us in with our runs. And now you know that having stronger biceps and triceps will decrease the amount of metabolic stress on your arms as you ride. You know this because I just told you. WHOOT!!! WHOOT!!!

So, here are two good workouts (each containing 4 strength exercises) I found on the Experience L!fe website. Love this site because it’s dedicated empowering people to become their best, healthiest selves (sounds sooooo RYPE, right?). And I really loved these workouts because they weren’t something that would require me to be in the gym for ump-teen hours on forty-five-one-hundred machines. They are short, sweet and to the point. And not only will they have you triathlon strong, but definitely bikini ready.

#WINNING!

 

Workout A

1) Speed Pushups

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  •  Assume the standard pushup position: hands slightly wider than shoulder width, balls of feet on the floor, body in a straight line from your heels to the crown of your head.
  • Without letting your hips or head sag toward the floor, bend your arms, pull your shoulder blades together, and lower your body, keeping your elbows at about a 45-degree angle to your torso.
  • When your chest is a few inches from the floor, quickly push yourself back up to the starting position.

Easier version: Perform the exercise with your hands on an elevated surface like a bench or countertop: the higher the surface, the easier the move.

Harder version: Perform the exercise with your feet elevated.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Improves upper-body pushing power; useful for the swim start and steep climbing on the bike.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of as many reps as possible in 20 seconds
  • Week Two: three sets of as many reps as possible in 20 seconds
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of as many reps as possible in 30 seconds
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of as many reps as possible in 20 seconds; slow down these weeks and focus on perfect form.

2) Chin-Ups

May13_wo_chin-ups

  • Take an underhand, shoulder-width grip on a chin-up bar with your palms facing toward you.
  • Lift your feet from the floor and allow your arms to straighten fully.
  • Pull your shoulder blades down and back, bend your arms, and pull yourself up until your chin is slightly above the bar.
  • Lower yourself slowly back to the starting position.

Easier version: Perform the same exercise using an assisted chin-up machine, or have a partner give you a boost as you perform the move.

Harder version: If you can bang out 12 to 15 reps of body-weight chin-ups with no problem, try the same exercise while squeezing a dumbbell between your legs.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Develops the upper-back musculature necessary for a strong swimming stroke and for maintaining good posture throughout the run.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 12 to 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: one or two sets of 10 reps

Can’t do a Chin-Up? No Problem! See ELmag.com/pullup.

3) Alternating Dynamic Lunges

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  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then step your left foot forward about a stride-and-a-half, allowing the heel of your right foot to lift an inch or two off the floor.
  • Keeping your back straight and your eyes looking ahead, slowly bend both legs until your right knee lightly touches the floor.
  • Reverse the movement, stepping your left foot back, and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.

Easier Version: Lower your back knee only halfway down to the floor on each rep before coming back up.

Harder Version: Hold dumbbells at your sides.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Keeps the hip flexors limber and develops the glutes, helping to prevent lower-back pain and injury that can sometimes result from too much time in the saddle.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: three sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 12 to 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

4) Stability-Ball Speed “Olympic Diver” Crunches

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  • Sit on a stability ball, walk your feet forward, and lie back on the ball until your torso is parallel to the floor.
  • Extend your arms overhead, interlace your fingers, and squeeze your upper arms close to your ears.
  • Keeping your arms in this position, blow out forcefully, contract your abdominal muscles, and squeeze the bottom of your rib cage toward your pelvis.
  • Return to horizontal position.

Easier Version: Perform the movement sitting toward the front of the ball so the ball supports your back, and your hands are higher than your knees in the starting position.

Harder Version: Hold a light dumbbell in your hands.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Unlike conventional crunches, this stricter version keeps your spine long as you work the core, which translates into better form on the run and a more streamlined shape in the water.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of as many as possible in 20 seconds
  • Week Two: two sets of as many as possible in 30 seconds
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of as many as possible in 30 seconds
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 to 15 reps, focusing on form

Workout B

1) Stability-Ball Dumbbell Overhead Presses 

May13_wo_stability-ball-dumbbell-overhead-press

  • Sit upright on a stability ball, holding two moderately heavy dumbbells at shoulder height, palms roughly parallel.
  • Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, smoothly press the dumbbells upward until your arms are fully extended overhead and your upper arms are close to your ears.
  • Slowly reverse the movement and repeat for the appropriate reps.

Easier Version/Harder Version: Adjust the weight accordingly.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Improves shoulder stability and strength — both invaluable during the swim and bike stages.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

2) Seated Cable Rows 

May13_wo_seated-cable-rows

  • Attach a parallel-grip handle to the low pulley cable at a seated row station and set the pin at a moderately heavy weight.
  • Sit on the seat, place your feet against the platform, and take hold of the handles.
  • Sit up straight, arching your lower back and lifting your chest slightly.
  • Without allowing your head to push forward, bend your arms and strongly retract your shoulder blades, pulling the handle back until it nearly touches your abdomen.
  • Slowly extend your arms and return to the starting position.

Easier Version/Harder Version: Adjust the resistance accordingly.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Protects against “swimmer’s shoulder” and other issues caused by overuse of the shoulder joint.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

3) Dumbbell Front Squats

May13_wo_dumbbell-front-squats

 

  • Holding two moderately heavy dumbbells, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and your toes pointed slightly outward.
  • Lift the dumbbells to shoulder height and rest them on the fronts of your shoulders throughout the movement.
  • Keeping your feet flat on the floor, your eyes looking ahead and your lower back in its natural arch, slowly squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor.
  • With your weight on your heels, return to standing, keeping your chest up throughout the exercise.

Easier Version: Use body weight only, and, if necessary, only squat halfway down.

Harder Version: Use heavier dumbbells and squat as deeply as you can while keeping your lower back in its natural arch.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Builds strength in the lower body — especially useful for sprinting and climbing during the bike and the run.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

4) Knee-Ups

May13_wo_knee-ups

 

  • Take an overhand, shoulder-width grip on a chin-up bar, palms facing away from you, allowing your legs to hang straight down toward the floor.
  • Keeping your feet together, lift your knees as high as possible.
  • Pause for a moment in the contracted position, slowly lower your knees back to the starting position, and repeat for the appropriate number of reps.

Easier Version: Perform the same movement using a pair of slings, which attach to a chin-up bar and loop around your upper arms so you don’t have to grip the bar. Then lift your knees just halfway up.

Harder Version: Perform the same movement with your legs straight, touching your toes to the bar.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Improves hip mobility, hip-flexor strength and core stability, for better strength and more efficient positioning during the run.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

 

Remember….TRI-ing is Sexy!!! So let’s get it!!!

Hyped to be RYPE!!!

Aside

Hey there RYPEness! Old Man Winter has a grip on us, doesn’t he? Man…and he ain’t letting up either. These desperate times call for desperate measures when it comes to staying on your workout schedule. I was combing the internet trying … Continue reading

It’s time to be seen!!

Hey there RYPEness!

If you are anything like me, this time of year when it’s super hard to get a workout in. It’s dark in the morning, it’s dark once your work day is finished, and to top things off….IT’S COLD! Definitely presents challenges, but we all know that it’s no excuse not to get ‘er dun! November is National Running Safety month. It’s a fact we would rather not think about, however over 100,000 runners, walkers and cyclist are hit by cars annually. Therefore, as outdoor enthusiast we have to make sure we are doing everything in our power to be seen by the folks driving these machines that happen to be faster and bigger than we are.

Reflective gear, headlights and bright-colored clothing are “must haves” in your arsenal of winter training gear. Wearing light/bright-colored clothing will definitely help you be seen, but not always do the trick. I find that with bright-colored clothes, it helps more for me as a runner to see other people running…but not so much for those driving a car to see you. Headlamps and blinking lights definitely help motorist see you better, not to mention that they also help keep you safe from the sidewalk cracks and wet leaves that if taken the wrong way will definitely lead to a face plant….OUCH! But adding in reflective gear will significantly increase your chances that any motorist will notice that the image they see is a person moving, especially gear that has reflective elements in places that move (arms, legs, sides of torso).

Check out your local running store. There are TONS of reflective clothing options for you to chose from. Brands like Brooks, Adidas and 2XU all make items that help you be seen while out running in the “dark hours”. Check this out:

IMG_2445

SUPER cute running gear from Adidas (you can cop both top and bottom at TrySports, comes in varying color options as well as long running tights: http://www.trysports.com/location/charlotte-sp) The bright colors around the wrist (which includes a thumb hole to help keep those wrist covered and warm), means that while you are running, that brightness is moving, thus helping others recognize you as a moving person, not a stationary object. Both the top and the bottoms are adorned with the Adidas stripes for added cuteness.  AHHH-HAAA!! No those stripes are NOT for just for cuteness. Check out what happens when we use a flash on the camera to simulate vehicle headlights hitting you as you move:

IMG_2447 IMG_2449_a IMG_2442

Those puppies light up! So now, as you jog down the road YOU WILL BE SEEN!! Sounds like the perfect combination right? Looking great and being safe as we continue to inspire women to TRI!

Hyped 2 RYPE!

Why Tri?…

….cause its sexy, that’s why!

Hey there RYPEness!

So today I had a bit of a panic attack! April 28th is my first triathlon of the season, and its about 5 weeks away. To date, I have been on my trusty Felt once, and in the pool like….none.

YIKES!

I am not going to worry too much though. I am going to use the Huntersville Sprint Tri to gauge my fitness at this point and determine what I need to do to improve my time for the next race on the agenda. Actually, for me I find this a good way to start a season. I have kinda gotten started, but not focused. I signed up for Huntersville, so there is no backing out. I will very likely be embarrassed by my time which will kick my lazy butt into gear! What a plan, right? 🙂 HA!! The key to this fitness thing?….find what works for YOU!! For me, not wanting to embarrass myself twice is a good enough reason to remain focused!

Anyone want to join me? COME ON!…I am sure its going to be a fun race. SIGN UP HERE!

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We can struggle through this one together, then get ready to have some real fun….like heading to Asheville, NC to do the Enka Sprint at the Biltmore on June 15th!! Yeah…that got your attention, didnt it?

Have a RYPE week!

Motiviation Mondays!!!….

Hey there RYPEness!

first_step

And it’s as simple as that.

Have an awesome week RYPEness!

Run RYPEness Run…

Hey there RYPEness,

You know…I have to stand back sometimes and laugh at myself. Ten years ago, you would have NEVER heard of me trying to encourage anyone to get out and run, because I hated doing it myself! You can ask some of my buddies from high school that I played basketball with about my attitude towards running and they will tell you about countless lies I told to get out of running sprints and stuff in practice! Despite the fact that I was actually pretty fast and my father encouraged it, I quit track cause the thought of running for hours during practice turned my stomach.

But…look at me now! At age 16 I wouldn’t run to save my life, but at 44 I am doing marathons. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO START LIVING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE!

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A marathon finisher? Yep!

Did you know that doctors have long suspected that exercise can lift the mood and now regular exercise routines are being investigated in the context of patients with depression and anxiety? Exercise can help release endorphins and neurotransmitters that trigger positive feelings. It can also boost your confidence, take your mind off worries and lead to more social interaction if you go to a gym or come out and run with a group of really cool ladies who are getting RYPE!

Endurance events empower us, plain and simple.

So even if you are not going to accept my challenge of taking on a whole triathlon, why don’t you come out and join us for some weekly fun and easy runs? You will be amazed at how your body will react to the introduction of running, and even more amazed at how maintaining this regular routine will change your whole life for the better!
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Hyped 2b RYPE!

Food Friday!

Hey there RYPEness!!

I hope everyone is ready for a good weekend! Here in Charlotte temperatures are supposed to be in the 60’s….PERFECT weather to get out and enjoy the sunshine!

If you know me, you know I love to cook! And what I have found is that eating well does not require you to eat nasty food….it simple does NOT! Eating well means using ingredients that benefit our bodies and provide the RIGHT fuel we need to get through our days. But many ask, what are the right foods? Ever heard of SUPER FOODS? Check out this article:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/superfoods-everyone-needs

Incorporating these things into a meal is really simple!

Have a GREAT and RYPE weekend!!!